Long before 2003 when Captain Jack Sparrow became a household name, there had been many films featuring actors wearing pirate costumes. 'The Curse of The Black Pearl', which was to be the first of the 'Pirates of The Caribbean' series was not a new idea, rather it brought swashbuckling up to date with a huge budget and twenty-first century special effects.
Right from the early days of film there have been many tales of buccaneers, buried treasure and buxom wenches to thrill audiences the world over. Everything about these tales of adventure in the high seas has always proved to be very popular with the public; the treasure maps, the creaking ships, the villains dressed in pirate costumes and the roar of cannons. It is something that appeals to a great many of us.
The child within us all loves the excitement and romance that is such a large part of these great movies. Just as many of us 'enjoy' being frightened by a good creepy film, we also love all of the adventure of a good swashbuckling epic.
Right from being children we are taught that pirate costumes are synonymous with adventure by being told stories such as 'Treasure Island' and 'Peter Pan'.
If you want to see some good movies prior to Johnny Depp becoming Captain Jack Sparrow, then there are some great ones to choose from.
'The Black Swan' was released in 1942. It starred Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara. Errol Flynn donned pirate costumes for several of his roles. Amongst his best films to be made were 'Captain Blood' and 'Sea Hawk'. Then there is 'The Crimson Pirate' from 1952 with Burt Lancaster playing Captain Vallo. Lancaster was a strong influence when writers created the character of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Returning to the theme of Peter Pan there was also the 1991 Steven Speilberg fantasy film, 'Hook' with Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts. Indeed, Spielberg had already used the pirates storyline in 1985's 'The Goonies' the great effect.
So, out of the many films (and I have only mentioned a small amount) that have been made around this theme over the years, just who are the public's favourites? Who is more suited to wearing pirate costumes more than their counterparts? It may not be too much of a surprise to learn that Johnny Depp is one of the most popular choices. The other name that is mentioned more than most is Errol Flynn. Even after all of these years his roles are still incredibly popular with film-lovers.
It may be that Disney came up trumps when it dressed Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in pirate costumes but the story is basically nothing that has not already been done before. 'The Curse of The Black Pearl' is a brilliant and highly enjoyable family film as are its sequels. It is important, however, that we don't forget all of the other great films of its kind that went before it. Many of these are still 'classics' as well.